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~Learn a Universe of Knowledge at Wellesley's Ruhlman Conference~

For immediate release:
April 25, 2002

CONTACT:
Arlie Corday,
781-283-3321 or 2373


WELLESLEY, Mass. - Wellesley College's sixth annual Ruhlman Conference will be held Wednesday, May 1. Made possible by the Barbara Peterson Ruhlman Fund for Interdisciplinary Study, the conference aims to foster collaboration among students and faculty across the disciplines and to enhance the intellectual life of the college.

The event is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, friends, family, alumnae and guests to come together in celebration of student achievement. Assembled from the considerable academic endeavor that goes into producing senior theses and other independent study, the Ruhlman Conference focuses on student achievement, including research, creative work and artistic performance.

Traditionally, student work takes place in private, presented to a select few for judgment. Wellesley's Ruhlman Conference brings hard-won knowledge into the light, allowing the community to benefit from individual efforts.

Talks, colloquia, panels, poster sessions, exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances, readings of original work, debate sessions, field studies and interactive teaching presentations make up the day-long presentations.

Presentations are grouped under general topics including "About Wellesley," "The Arts," "Gender and Sexuality," "Multiculturalism and Diversity," "Science and Technology" and more. For example, from 11 am-12:10 pm in Founders 120, the topic "Social Institutions and Processes" features "American Popular Culture." Four students will make presentations including ones on "The Spectacle of Sports and Politics" and "Olympic Propaganda."

The conference begins at 8:30 am. After lunch from 12:10-1:30 pm, sessions run through 5:40 pm. Here are a few samples of the variety of work that will be on display:

-"Birth and Death of Neurons in the Brain" will be presented in Pendleton West 212 from 11 am-12:10 pm by Reezwana Chowdhury '02, Andrea Dingman '02, Yolanda Huang '03, Jennifer Mahoney '02, Jing-Yu Pan '02 and Sara Wasserman '02.

"Nerve cells (neurons) are unique cells within the body because in adulthood they have a very limited potential for regeneration," the students note. "One of the most exciting discoveries in neuroscience in the last decade is that neurons in the adult nervous system do have some capacity for proliferation. We will explore neuronal birth and death in invertebrate and vertebrate animal models. These findings have implications for disorders of the nervous system as diverse as schizophrenia, brain metastasis of cancer, and spinal cord injury."

-"Hitchhiking Through The Universe On Wellesley's 24-inch Telescope" will be presented in Pendleton East 117 from 1:30-2:40 pm by Carolin Cardamone '02, Bena Chang '04, Tara Donner '02, Leah Graniela '02, Jennifer Huff '04, and Chesea Tiffany '04.

The students will examine astronomy projects produced at Wellesley's Whitin Observatory. "We will explore the fundamentals of imaging the night sky," they write in the conference program. "We will describe how we measured the mass of Saturn by following the motions of its moons; the spin of an asteroid by tracking its light through the night; the distance to a star cluster by determining star colors."

-"The Portrayal of Bullies on Children's Television Programs," by Charlotte Sears '02, will be among several presentations offered in Pendleton East 239 from 1:30-2:40 pm. "Bullying is a pervasive problem throughout schools worldwide," Sears says. "How bullies are depicted on TV may influence children's conceptions of bullies and bullying. Because TV is a major source of information, it may affect children abilities to identify real-life bullies."

-"Responding to Terrorism from a Buddhist Perspective" will be presented in Pendleton West 212 from 4:30-5:40 pm by Sarah Argue '03, Jeanne Perrin '04, Naomi Warren '02, Michelle Hollembaek '03, Laura Pena '04 and Vickie Baldasarre '02.

"Since Sept. 11, Americans and others around the world have been mobilizing and valiantly fighting back against terrorism," the students note. "How can Buddhism, a philosophy that promulgates nonviolence, have anything to offer in these times? How would a Buddhist approach compare to the current war on terrorism?"

A complete schedule and description of the presentations can be found at http://new.wellesley.edu/DeanCollege/Ruhlman/schedule.pdf.

Founded in 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in liberal arts and the education of women for 125 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students.

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  • Date Modified: April 30, 2002
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